Preview: Cards look to build on series' strong offensive start
It's been almost a year since the St. Louis Cardinals' Lance Lynn last dropped a regular-season home start.
San Diego Padres starter Edinson Volquez probably wishes he was pitching somewhere else other than Busch Stadium on Saturday night.
Lynn has won 10 straight home regular-season decisions, and his Cardinals will look to beat Volquez again and hand the Padres an 11th consecutive road loss.
Lynn (11-4, 4.00 ERA) is 10-0 with a 2.51 ERA in his last 11 regular-season outings at home. His most recent regular-season loss at Busch came Sept. 7 in a relief appearance, and he last lost a start there Aug. 7.
The right-hander has been shaky in going 1-3 with a 6.12 ERA in his last four outings, yielding six runs over 4 1-3 innings in last Saturday's 6-4 defeat to the Cubs.
Lynn owns one of baseball's best run support averages at 6.38, and he has to like his chances of getting back on the winning track if the Cardinals (58-36) again treat Volquez rudely.
Volquez (6-8, 5.74) has posted a 6.35 ERA in losing his last three starts in St. Louis.
He probably doesn't have pleasant memories of his only other outing at Busch Stadium on June 1, 2009. Volquez left after one inning with what was originally called numbness in his pitching hand, but he didn't pitch again until July 2010 after elbow surgery.
The right-hander owns the majors' second-worst ERA and has allowed 12 runs over 10 1/3 innings in consecutive defeats. Carlos Beltran is 6 for 15 against Volquez.
Lynn won his lone career start against San Diego (42-55) by yielding three runs over six innings in a 6-3 victory May 23, 2012.
Matt Holliday is 8 for 20 with two homers against Volquez, but he could miss a fifth straight game with a hamstring injury. He will likely be available to pinch-hit Saturday at the very least.
"We're going to see how (Saturday) goes and go from there," he told the Cardinals' official website.
The Cardinals had plenty of offense without him with a 14-hit attack in Friday's 9-6 victory that opened this weekend set.
Matt Carpenter continued his strong season with three hits and three RBIs. He's hitting .368 with 23 RBIs and 21 runs over his last 23 games.
"I'm just trying to have good at-bats, play good defense and do whatever I can to get on base," Carpenter said.
Allen Craig is hitting .425 with 21 RBIs in his last 22 games for St. Louis, which has 47 hits over its last three.
The Padres weren't able to keep up Friday despite a late rally after trailing by seven runs after seven innings. Everth Cabrera had two hits and two RBIs.
"We got 13 hits and we put some stress on them," manager Bud Black said. "We forced them to bring in their closer and we started hitting the ball with some authority."
The Cardinals can win seven in a row at home for the first time since July 24-Aug. 6, while the Padres are trying to avoid their first 11-game road slide since April 29-May 14, 2009.